Our first sail out of the bay of Ilha Grande was to Ubatuba, some 30 nautical miles south west. It was a very nice sensation to get Oroboro in blue ocean waters again.
Praia do Sobrado
We stopped here to avoid getting in Ubatuba after sunset. This anchorage is very well protected and we saw an incredibly beautiful rainbow here.
Ubatuba is a lovely little town, with an interesting historic center.
Interestingly, Ubatuba is located on the Tropic of Capricorn. We crossed the Tropic of Capricorn on the other side of the ocean during winter solstice, in Namibia. And now we are crossing it again on foot, during the Autumn equinox. What are the chances?
It’s hard to imagine that this beautiful island was once a penal colony. It was the Brazilian version of Alcatraz, in California.
The prison was built in the 1930s and under an architectonic point of view is very interesting.
Some of the most vicious criminals from across the nation were imprisoned here. The prison was deemed impossible to escape due to a fast moving current between the shore and the nearest town Ubatuba. In June 1952, there was a big riot which resulted in the deaths of 118 people (110 inmates and 8 officers). Three years later, the prison was shut down.
Interestingly, during WWII this prison was also used to imprison 170 Japanese immigrants. Just like Japanese prison camps in the States. Perhaps more cruel. It’s interesting to read about the life of these people.
Some of them were incredibly skillful:
The island today has a terrific beach were we anchored for a few days:
On the way back to Ilha Grande we had to dodge a cold front anchoring in front of a little island called Ilhote de Couves. During the night we had strong winds up to 26 knots. We saw many fishing boats finding refuge there, so we were sure it was a good place if fishermen used it. The wind blew hard from the south for several hours, and we had to be on anchor watch. But the next day we had a beautiful sail back to Ilha Grande.